Coronavirus Vs. Event Industry

Effects of Corona Virus on Audio-Visual Event Industry

The Corona Virus, also known as COVID-19 pandemic, has paralyzed economic and social activities all over the world. Schools and worship centers have been closed. In extreme cases, countries have gone on lockdown, and businesses like audiovisual events have shut down. In many countries, the only facilities that are running are shops and supermarkets, hospitals and petrol stations.

Empty NY Street Coronavirus

A homeless person pushes his belongings through a deserted Times Square in Manhattan, New York, March 23, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

The Audiovisual event industry has social gatherings as one of their greatest assets. The World Health Organization requires people to distance socially to avoid contracting and spreading the virus which has led to the cancellation of many events and others postponed to a later date. Amid the Corona Virus crisis, many event planners and investors in the event planning industry have suffered massive losses.

What led to the prohibition of social gatherings?

After the virus broke in Wuhan China in December 2019, many people were still attending events since the public had no idea of this deadly virus and how it is transmitted. By the time it was discovered that the virus can be spread from one person to another and through contaminated surfaces, many people had already contracted the virus. In a social gathering with one COVID-19 infected person, the virus can spread like wild fire and over forty percent people in the event end up contracting the deadly virus. It is hard to know if a person has the virus since it can stay in the body for about fourteen days without any signs or symptoms. Worst of all, the lifespan of the virus on surfaces can last for about four to nine days. On wooden surfaces, the infection can last up to four days, on metal, it can last up to five days, and on plastic, it can last up to nine days. This means that if a COVID-19 positive person touches any of the mentioned surfaces in the gathering, any other person who feels the surface and do not clean their hands with water and soap or sanitizer containing alcohol, they have a very high probability of contracting the virus. This happens if the infected person had sneezed on their hand or touched the mouth and later the surface without cleaning their hands. Even after the World Health Organization stipulated rules and regulations on social distancing, some people were still ignorant of it and still attended events. That led to more cases of COVID-19. Countries had to take it upon themselves to prohibit all social gatherings to curb the spread of the virus. In extreme cases, countries went on lockdown and citizens were prohibited on any human contact beside immediate family who did not have any signs and symptoms of corona virus.

Full effect of coronavirus on audiovisual events

Cancellation Of Events:

Weddings have been postponed, and those that have pushed on with them, had less than ten people attending; the world has witnessed burials with only two people, a spiritual minister and one family member, and many other cooperate events have been canceled.

Un-Employment

Audiovisual event industries comprises of many jobs all in one. The sector gives jobs to people in photography, design, florals, catering, audiovisual equipment, planning, and music. With coronavirus paralyzing the industry, all these people have been rendered jobless. According to a research by Oxford Economics and Events Industry Council, the audiovisual event industry employs about six million people.

What next for Even planners and event holders?

Many event planners and event holders understand that the damage caused by COVID-19 outbreak will be irreversible after the pandemic has passed and life has gone back to normal. However, this does not mean that the they should just throw it all away. Event holders ought to postpone the events and not cancel them. Events like weddings, corporate launches and trade shows can be delayed, unlike an event like burials. The date ought not to be set until the world has healed and social gatherings can be held without the fear of contracting corona virus. After corona virus pandemic is declared over, the event planners and event holders can have a meeting and set new dates. For event planners, postponing an event due to corona virus, they risk losing right clients who are likely to make your company grow significantly. For event holders, delaying an event risk you turning away a great event planner who has the ability to turn your event into a huge success. If it is an event like fundraising, event planners can lose tremendous contributions that can aid their projects greatly. In this time, stakeholders in the audiovisual event industry ought to just send a letter to the involved parties on adjustment of dates.

Popular events affected by Coronavirus

Hot Docs
The event was to be held on April 30 up to May 10 in Canada but has been canceled due to the outbreak of the virus. The organizers of the event said they are respecting the rule by the World Health on social distancing and confirmed to arrange the event on a later date after the COVID-19 storm has passed.

Movie and film openings and productions
The release of many movies has been canceled and delayed due to the virus. For instance, Marvel has paused the production of movies like Loki, Wanda Vision and others. Other films that have been affected by coronavirus include Lucifer, Money Heist, Lord Of The Rings, The Handmaid's Tale, Winter Soldier and many others.

Sport Events
Coronavirus has not only affected the events in the entertainment circle but also on games and sports since some of the players tested positive for the virus. The English Premier League suspended al its matches to April 3 and UEFA moved the European Championship to 2021. Wimbledon which was set to be on April 1 was postponed to June 2021. NBA suspended all the 2020 season to March 2021 and Tokyo Olympics which were set to be on March 24 were postponed to July 2021.

In conclusion,

COVID-19 is a lethal virus and it ought not to be taken lightly. The pandemic has paralyzed businesses in all sectors including the audiovisual event industry. Amid all the chaos, one ought to take care of him/herself by sanitizing his hands, disinfecting the areas around themselves and practicing social distance to avoid transmitting and spreading of the virus. The stakeholders in the audiovisual event industry ought to postpone the events they had planned rather than cancel them completely. When the pandemic is over, one will just pick up from where they left and adjust the dates rather than having to start from scratch.

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